Going far, wide, and digital, National Geographic Kids has claimed its eighth Guinness World Records title, this time for the largest online photo album of animals.
Through what it dubbed the "Great Nature Project," National Geographic collected 104,022 pictures of animals from kids and adults in almost every country.
Starting in May, photographers from around the world started submitting pictures of animals through Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and National Geographic Kids’ "My Shot" photo community, using the designated hashtags #GreatNature and #animal. The pictures were then compiled on GreatNatureProject.org, where visitors were able to sort pictures by destination and examine animals from backyards, parks, and wildlife areas around the world.
Numerous celebrities also participated in the record-breaking endeavor by either submitting their own photos or curating galleries. They included first lady Michelle Obama, singer Selena Gomez, singe/actor Joe Jonas, race car driver Danica Patrick, actor LeVar Burton, singer Jewel and former “The Tonight Show” bandleader Kevin Eubanks.
The First Lady went so far as to share one of her contributed photos on Twitter after the record was verified.
“Kids as well as adults across the planet have helped us get a real global snapshot of nature today through the Great Nature Project,” said Rachel Buchholz, editor of National Geographic Kids magazine.
All of the photo galleries, as well as an interactive map, are available for viewing at the Great Nature Project website. In addition to the celebrity contributors, participating National Geographic explorers and photographers include wildlife photographer and National Geographic Fellow Joel Sartore; conservationist, actor and Nat Geo WILD host Casey Anderson; and filmmaker, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Beverly Joubert. The Great Nature Project is a key initiative of the National Geographic Society, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
“Photography is such a powerful tool for conservation and environmental protection,” said Sartore. “I hope the Great Nature Project inspires the next generation of National Geographic photographers to protect the world through photography.”